DIY Wood Tray Made From an Old Photo Frame

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10 coffee table low res WM

I just had fun making a DIY wood tray made from an old photo frame.

My mother-in-law found this frame and asked me if I could use it for one of my up-cycle projects – and I snatched it right up so that I could make this rustic tray for my coffee table!

2 frame before low res WM

Materials Needed To Make Your Own Up-cycled Wood Frame:

  • 11X14″ old wood frame (head to a thrift store or hit garage sales to find one!  Or, if you don’t want to hunt that way, here are “antique frames” on Amazon.)
  • Foam Board (get at the Dollar Tree or Dollar General for $1)
  • Wood Grain printed paper
  • Mod Podge & foam brushes
  • Drill
  • Jute rope

1 frame to tray materials low res WM

In order to make the bottom of the tray, I was just going to cover the glass in the original photo frame with some wood grain printed scrap book paper.

The glass actually broke in the process, so I replaced the glass with some foam board.  I cut the foam board into a 11″ x 14″ piece, along with the scrapbook paper to match that size.

3 modpodge low res WM

Then use Mod Podge to glue the scrapbook paper onto the foam board.  Cover the scrapbook paper with an even coat of Mod Podge to seal it.

Wait an hour and give it a second coat of Mod Podge on the top to be sure the surface is waterproof.

Also be sure your Mod Podge is smoothed out with the foam brush, or you’ll get “glue” bumps on the surface of the tray.  Wait 24 hours for this to fully dry before you assemble the rest of the tray.

4 drilled holes low res WM

Now to turn the frame into a tray, you should add a handle to each side.

The way I did it was to drill holes into the frame and use jute rope for rustic rope handles.  Depending on the structure of your frame, it may also look great to just add some antique looking hardware handles.

5 drilled holes 2 low res WM

Here is a side view of the drilled holes.  There are actually 2 drilled holes at an angle because of the angle of the wood on the side of the frame.

6 jute low res WM

Because of the angle of the drilled hole, I needed to use tweezers to pull through the rope since I couldn’t just feed it through the hole straight through.

7 nail poilish low res WM

I also recommend using clean nail polish on the end of the jute rope to keep it from unraveling in the future.

8 tray final low res WM

After the foam board is fully dry from the Mod Podge coat, then go ahead and add it to the frame just as you would if it were a picture.  

Here is the final version of the photo frame turned into a wooden tray for my coffee table:

9 frame low res WM

I will give you a little warning that this tray is not as hardy and strong as a fully wooden tray would be.

You should only use this tray for decor purposes and not to carry hot cups of tea or coffee around the house.  I use mine to hold my remotes for the TV.  

Some old books and a decorative vase can also be a great way to enhance the tray with a pop of color.

Looking for more rustic DIY ideas?  Check out these posts:

Shabby Chic Display Shelf Makeover

How To Use a Flower Loom

How To Make Mason Jar Wall Sconces

11 coffee table vertical low res WM

DIY wood tray made from an old photo frame

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